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Effect of innovation capabilities on export performance: evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Tanzania

Denis Samwel Ringo (Department of Business Administration and Management, The University of Dodoma, Dodoma City, United Republic of Tanzania)
Isaac Kazungu (Department of Marketing and Enterprise Management, Moshi Cooperative University, Moshi, United Republic of Tanzania)
Amani Gration Tegambwage (Department of Business Administration and Management, The University of Dodoma, Dodoma City, United Republic of Tanzania)

Technological Sustainability

ISSN: 2754-1312

Article publication date: 6 February 2023

Issue publication date: 26 January 2024

359

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the relationship between product innovation (PRODIN), process innovation (PROCIN) and export performance (EXPF) of manufacturing small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, the paper investigates the moderating effect of marketing innovation (MAKIN) in the relationship between PRODIN, PROCIN and the SMEs' EXPF.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey design was used and data were collected through structured questionnaires from 250 manufacturing exporting SMEs in Tanzania. CFA was used to test the measurement model. The hypotheses were empirically tested using PROCESS macro test.

Findings

The findings suggest that PRODIN is a significant determinant of EXPF. However, PROCIN was found to have a significant negative effect on EXPF. Additionally, MAKIN was found to be a significant moderator of the relationship between PRODIN, PROCIN and EXPF.

Research limitations/implications

This study covered only manufacturing SMEs. Future studies can include large firms because they may behave differently on innovations due to the resources advantage they have. Also, because only a single country context was used, the findings of this study should be interpreted with caution.

Practical implications

Managers of exporting SMEs should develop and cultivate PRODIN and MAKIN to nurture EXPF of their firms.

Originality/value

The findings of this study extend the application of resource-based view theory in exporting context by unpacking the process through which resources result in successful performance. Also, this study contributes to the debate about the innovation–EXPF relationship by establishing a moderating effect of MAKING in the relationship between PRODIN, PROCIN and EXPF.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: The University of Dodoma funded this study through internal funding for long-term training programmes.

Expression of Concern: The publisher of the Journal Technological Sustainability is issuing an Expression of Concern for the following article: Ringo, D.S., Kazungu, I. and Tegambwage, A.G. (2023), “Effect of innovation capabilities on export performance: evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Tanzania”, Technological Sustainability, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/TECHS-09-2022-0038, to inform readers that the this paper, submitted to a subsequently cancelled Special Issue, does not meet the aims and scope of the journal as per the Editor in Chief.

Citation

Ringo, D.S., Kazungu, I. and Tegambwage, A.G. (2024), "Effect of innovation capabilities on export performance: evidence from manufacturing SMEs in Tanzania", Technological Sustainability, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 24-40. https://doi.org/10.1108/TECHS-09-2022-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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